Perk Up the Patio, Part 1: Summer Container Gardens

shade gardenFast and fun container gardens can add colorful pop to any patio, deck or yard. Don’t feel restricted to the typical annuals found at your local home improvement store; perennials are equally at home in a container, and your choice of plants is only limited by the size of your pot! Check out these ideas for pretty plant combinations that will make the view inside and outside your patio sliding doors irresistible all season long.

Shade garden. If you don’t have a cool spot in your garden for shade-loving plants, create a shade garden on your covered porch or patio. English ivy, begonias, hostas, double impatiens and ferns will all find a happy home in pots when kept well-watered.

Mint chandelier. Because mint spreads so aggressively in the garden, it is much better suited for planting in a container. Keep a hanging container on the patio; freshly snipped mint leaves make a refreshing garnish for cool summertime drinks.

Opposites attract. Plants that offer sharp contrasts – such as a tall spiked plant like canna lily paired with low, bushy ‘Vancouver Centennial’ geranium – create containers with striking visual impact. Make the plants the focal point by keeping the container itself neutral and understated.

Attractive grassesTasty treats. Rather than heading to the grocery store when you need tomatoes, turn to your own container garden! The color and scent of ripe tomatoes will add life to your outdoor space. Any tomato plant can be grown in a container, but certain varieties grow better than others. Ask your local nursery for advice.

Attractive grasses. Containers holding ornamental grasses such as ‘Purple Fountain’ grass provide easy-care drama and will still look great at the end of the season. For greater impact, combine different textures, heights, colors and plumes.

Check out Part Two of this series for fun ideas to create patio furniture from pallets!

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